The range of structures and experienced professionals available has made the Channel Islands a primary location for insurance structures. The island of Guernsey is the largest offshore insurance centre in Europe. It has an outstanding reputation for innovation and professionalism in the international insurance industry, attributed partly to its focus on continually developing new products and maintaining a competitive business environment, achieved by combining creativity with consultation and robust yet flexible regulation. After recently putting in place relevant legislation, Jersey is also beginning to see growth in this area.
Guernsey provides both the required services and a supportive environment for both domestic and international insurance market sectors, attracting a wide range of insurance business: - local insurers, overseas insurers, recognised insurers and intermediaries who advise on or arrange contracts of insurance in or from within Guernsey, captive insurers, protected call companies and life assurance companies who arrange contracts of insurance from within Guernsey, covering international risks.
Guernsey is ahead of many of its competitors in terms of developing its legislative environment. It was the first domicile to introduce protected cell company legislation. The island authorities have also helped to support the development of the insurance industry with the introduction of a law allowing migration of companies; which facilitates the consolidation of captive operations. Guernsey has modern insurance legislation in the form of The Insurance Business (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law, 2002 and The Insurance Manager and Insurance Intermediaries (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law 2002. The island continues to be one of the fastest growing captive centres in the world. Currently there are 250 companies and 408 cells regulated under Guernsey’s insurance legislation. They account for £21.76bn of gross assets and write premium totalling £4.6bn annually.
Today’s insurance industry faces a challenging future as margins are squeezed, the level of regulation increases and the cushion of investment returns shrinks, companies are seeking to sharpen underwriting, cut overheads and reduce claims leakage. They strive to improve risk management in the wake of recent financial setbacks and solvency pressures. Outsourcing and strategic partnerships are also proving increasingly popular strategies.
Challenges faced by insurers range from the need to strengthen customer relationships and develop tailored targeted products and services in the face of more exacting customer demands and increased regulation, to overcoming the continuing uncertainty with respect to insurance reporting under IFRS and readiness for the imminent Solvency II.
PwC specialists help insurers turn these challenges into opportunities in key areas of their business, including governance, risk and compliance, process improvement, financial reporting and business development strategies. PwC CI LLP is the largest firm serving the insurance companies domiciled or administered in the Channel Islands. We have specialists in accounting, regulatory, systems and tax matters, who deliver expertise both in relation to the establishment and ongoing management of entities. Combining our local industry knowledge and strength of long established relationships with the major service providers in the marketplace, with the expertise of colleagues across the global network of member firms enables us to deliver the exact combination of experience and expertise our clients require.